ABSTRACT

Within media studies, both short and paratextual media forms and longlasting serial narratives are often taken as significant sources for the study of audience agency. Brief YouTube parodies, home-made trailers, and mashups are assumed to privilege user empowerment much more than traditional broadcasting. We view them as elements of an audiovisual politics that contrasts the demands of large-scale media conglomerates insofar as they feed two of the typical characteristics of the digital age: autonomy and the fragmentation of traditional audiences.1 The same thing has happened for particularly long, complex serial forms: multi-platform narratives function as temporally enduring media environments, within which the user’s cognitive activity is constantly challenged, following the industry’s encouragement.2